The default theming of ikiwiki is described as an anti theme and that’s right to the point: it looks like from the early 90s. To avoid loosing potential users too early in the process due to the very basic look we switch to a different theme now.

In general there are two ways to adjust the look of ikiwiki:

  1. use a pre-built theme
  2. create a local.css for complete custom theming with CSS and/or adjust the included template files (install in /usr/share/ikiwiki/templates/*.tmpl).

These two methods can also be combined. We only cover the pre-built themes here with three examples.

First we switch to an alternate built-in theme.

Theming 1: Enable the builting theme “actiontabs”

Adjust myiki.setup to enable the theme plugin and select the more pleasing theme actiontabs included in the distribution:

    $ diff -u myiki.setup
    ---     2014-07-25 00:36:11.238747239 +0400
    +++ myiki.setup 2014-07-25 01:26:43.515001820 +0400
    @@ -40,6 +40,7 @@
     - goodstuff
     - websetup
    +- theme
     # plugins to disable
     disable_plugins: []
     # additional directory to search for template files
    @@ -288,6 +289,7 @@
     # theme plugin
     # name of theme to enable
     #theme: actiontabs
    +theme: actiontabs

     # websetup plugin
     # list of plugins that cannot be enabled/disabled via the web interface

After rebuilding the wiki (ikiwiki -f ~/myiki.setup rebuild) the site shows in the new theme.

See actiontabs-theme live at Branchable.

Theming 2: Local copy of a bootstrap (2.0) theme

There is a theme market on the ikiwiki homepage, from there we get the link to the following Bootstrap-based theme.

  • get theme from

      git clone git://
  • copy over stuff to mywiki

      vagrant@ikiwiki.local:~$ cp -a website/templates website/bootstrap.min.css website/local.css myiki/
  • rebuild the wiki as usual to activate

      vagrant@ikiwiki.local:~$ ikiwiki -setup ~/myiki.setup rebuild -v

Adjustments can be made in local.css, e.g. removing the .container-entity gives the default-width for the content.

The logo image at the very top can be adjusted in page.tmpl.

See this boostrap-theme live at Jak Linux.

Theming 3: A theme using external (current) Bootstrap 3.2.0

Same reference as previous one. Homepage on GH:

  • clone it

      vagrant@ikiwiki.local:~$ git clone
  • edit mywiki.setup:

      templatedir: /home/vagrant/ikiwiki-bootstrap-theme
      // ensure not theme is selected (e.g. actiontabs)
  • rebuild the wiki

Optional: adjust *.tmpl to use local copies of bootstrap instead of fetching it online each time.

Unfortunately this theme is not live.


The default (anti-) theme should at least be changed to the included actiontabs to get a more decent look for the wiki. This works with the out-of-the-box setup and thus has no impact on future updates.

The Bootstrap 3.2 theme provides an up-to-date look for Ikiwiki and offers the features of Bootstrap. It may require a bit of extra work and may need some tweaking in future versions of Ikiwiki (updating of the custom template files) though.